A Nation Of Cheapskates? Australians Prefer Budget TVs To Premium Brands

A Nation Of Cheapskates? Australians Prefer Budget TVs To Premium Brands
Image Credit: Canstar Blue

According to a new study by consumer product ratings board Canstar Blue, Australian consumers are big fans of cheaper TVs, with SONIQ and LG jointly taking out the top slots for customer satisfaction.

TV picture from Shutterstock

As part of its annual TV satisfaction ratings report, Canstar Blue polled Australian households about their TV habits and preferred brands. Among other findings, they discovered that around 38% of Australian homes have three or more televisions in them, with the number of boob-tubes sometimes outnumbering people.

Interestingly, when it came to the most popular brands, top tier manufacturers like Panasonic and Sony were conclusively bested by the cheapy brand known as SONIQ.

"SONIQ markets itself as very affordable so it’s expected that they will rate highly on value for money but they also performed well in other areas that contribute to overall satisfaction," explained Canstar Blue's Rebecca Logan.

"LG is another brand that appeals to a wide range of consumers. Specifically, our ratings show that the performance and ease of use have helped LG to jointly achieve our ‘Most Satisfied Customers’ award for televisions with SONIQ."

But its not just about cheap prices: as you can see in the above table, the similarly affordable Dick Smith, Kogan and Hinense received an overall satisfaction rating of three-out-of-five stars, which was the lowest score in the study. You can check out the full TV customer satisfaction ratings report over at Canstar Blue's website.

How much importance do you place on brand when it comes to purchasing a new TV? Can you even tell the difference between a top-of-the-range Sony and a sub-$500 SONIQ? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


  • There’s no way i’d sink a bunch of money into a “good” brand TV considering the technology is changing so quick.
    I’m pretty surprised with LG’s score on that chart!

  • My main TV is a 46″ bravia.
    for every other room there is a soniq, why? because they are good enough.
    only issue is, after you turn them on, you gotta press the stupid green home button on the remote to get rid of the stupid screen…

  • I have an ALDI (Medion) LED TV and am very happy with it. Plus it is 1/3 of the price of a Sony or other big brand. For the amount of time I use a TV every week the value proposition won out for me.

  • I just got a Panasonic and I’m on my second unit due to backlight bleed. Basically, get a plasma if you care about image quality. 60inch LCD just has too much flex in the panel to have a nice uniform backlight it seems.

    Going to keep going until about 5 units, hopefully I get a good one.

  • Sony has been a cheaper alternative for the past 15 years. They are low to middle of the range.
    As far as im aware the top Sony TVs are only on par with Soniq and Teac anyway.
    My 5 year old Panasonic still out performs all current TV’s.

  • When I was at university in the late 1990s the first TV i bought myself was an LG, a 68cm, cost about $1400, and I also bought a LG Hi-Fi VCR.

    Then in 2002 I wanted something larger, so I upgraded that to a LG 134cm rear projection TV which I spent about $3,000 on. That was a good telly. I even used a AV sender & receiver to get video from my computer at the other end of the house onto that TV.

    After a few years of that, I desired a widescreen for all this new 16:9 content so in 2007 I spent $4,000 on a LG 157cm (62 inch) plasma, which i’ve now had for 6 years. It’s does 1080p with 3 HDMI inputs & an output back to my receiver and after all this time I see no reason to upgrade to anything “smarter”.

    It has served me very well over all these years and i’m extremely happy with it.

    In 2007 I bought a LG laptop (with Windows Vista) and it was crap.

    TVs are what LG does extremely well.

  • Yeah I’m really pleased with my LG 42″ Plasma, bought for $1200 about 4 to 5 years ago. It was a good price at the time and its specs were better than Panasonic, Sony or Samsung for similar pricing.

    It just does what it does well, and we’ve had no issues or annoyances. And the screen is very good.

    Good to know Soniqs good quality too if things go wonky.

  • Soniqs have a great picture, but after a few months the speakers on mine completely crapped out. Plus there’s no external audio output so I can’t even run it through an amp. I’m sure most models work alright, but be wary.

  • my 5+ year old samsung 32″ lcd tv was heaps better then my parents LG as the black wasn’t really that black compared to my tv and my a freind had one of those soniq and looked like totally rubbish,white was super bright,blacks had a lot white coming through and skin colour was really red when when it came time for an upgrade had no choice other then getting a 42″ led lcd samsung can’t fault it at all

  • I have a 40 inch Soniq that does 3d very well and can use the $2 glasses you get at the movies. It costed around $400 last year. In terms of features its only really missing streaming but that’s on the attached blu ray player. Everything I want and nothing I don’t for under $600. So yeah, cheapskate as bro.

  • We decided to go for DSE brand TV’s for our business as we were buying about 20 of them, and wanted to save as much as possible.. 13-14 months later (1-2 month after warranty expires no less), they have literally all died.

    Not saying they did it on purpose… But still..

    • With that level of failure, it’s almost certainly something to do with the power circuit, commonly a singular capacitor. If the problem is that they’re just not turning on, you can probably get them repaired for basically nothing (contrary to a panel failure which is cheaper to just buy a new one). Cheap TVs (and actually LG for many years), have been very prone to this in the case of ’13 month failure’.

      • *shrug* They were for enterprise.. So we did the truly enterprise thing and (unfortunately) threw them away and bought brand name ones heh..

        Personally though for my money next time we will just buy brand names from the get go. Saving $60 each on a unit which will die in that timeframe is just crazy.

  • we saved a ton by knowing that 3d was pointless, didn’t need a tuner and 1080p wasn’t needed in my house anyway. So we got a good TV with no features. love it.

  • I’m not surprised.
    More and more people have a ‘sound system’ hooked up to the TV. More and more people have an external ‘tuner’ of some sort (Whether it be a foxtel box/FetchTV or whatever).
    So if you have the above situation, why would you pay for a TV with those built in? I don’t need a Sony/Samsung. I have a media PC with Blu-Ray and DTV. I have external speakers. So, a Soniq, which is just a ‘glorified monitor’ is fine.

  • Having bought a over $3,000 Sony Bravia which broke down under 3 years I won’t be buying any of their products again. This has also made me aware of the value of a mid priced TV (or even low priced) over the top of the range models.

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